FCW Insider

Blog archive

Why outsourcing IT expertise could be a big mistake

Guest entry by Federal Computer Week Editor-In-Chief John Monroe

As tempting as it sounds, federal agencies cannot afford – literally – to rely on contractors for technology innovation, at least according to one contractor.

In a recent blog post, we noted that we had received numerous reader comments in recent months that suggested that federal agencies could not afford to compete with the private sector for cream-of-the-crop IT talent.

This raises the question of whether or not agencies would be better off to stop trying to compete and simply rely on contractors to fill the gap.

But that would be a costly mistake, the contractor replied.

“Being a contractor, it's odd for me to say this, but bringing in more contractors is totally the wrong thing to do,” wrote the anonymous contractor. “They cost [twice as much as a] government employee, they generally are beholden to their company first, and the customer is generally an afterthought.”

Rather than ponying up that money for contractors who come and go, agencies would be better off getting serious about hiring IT talent – and about paying for it, the reader said.

Posted on Apr 19, 2011 at 12:18 PM


Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.